Content24: Star Wars, Buzzfeed and facial recognition

Welcome to Content24: different in that it’s a digest of the stories that matter over the past 24 hours and not just a platform for recycled content marketing. Today we’re looking at Star Wars, BuzzFeed and facial recognition technology

Star Wars

Newsweek has run a piece looking at how brands are preparing for the forthcoming Star Wars film. As anyone of a certain vintage will know, merchandising was one of the first film’s greatest successes, when everyone had to have a Luke Skywalker figurine, a Darth Vader and a Millennium Falcon to drop them in.

Disney has been pushing the tag #forcefriday and brands have been using it to market products ahead of the launch. One example is Sphero, which specialises in mobile-connected toys. It has produced blog posts and videos for its BB-8 droid.

One does not need to be a marketing expert to predict that there will be a flood of Star Wars content once the film is released.


Marketing title The Drum has an interview with Kate Burns, BuzzFeed’s general manager for Europe. In it, Burns, who joined from Google in May, speaks about the challenges facing the company in the UK. There are some interesting thoughts on the blurring of the lines between editorial and advertising. Earlier this year BuzzFeed admitted deleting articles while under pressure from brands including Microsoft and Unilever.

Elsewhere Burns says the company’s model is focused on content marketing rather than native advertising. But brands must understand that good content is needed to make it work.

She says: “It’s the B2B companies that get us at the moment. Those from the insurance, personal finance and travel sectors, which are really focused on the ROI, understand that in order to compel their brand to an audience, content has to be part of the strategy.

Facial recognition

A big question in content marketing is how new technology will change the business. One such innovation is facial recognition technology. While this may not be strictly about content marketing, a story by Digiday lists which companies have started using it and how.

Douwe Egberts used facial recognition at an airport to offer free coffee when it noticed passers-by who were yawning. Meanwhile Apple is considering using it as a security feature on its mobile phones.

The concept of identifying consumers is not a new one but the implications for content marketing could be huge. Theoretically, you could tailor content for someone based on how they look or how they dress. And you will probably know who they are anyway because their facial details are already your the database.

Philip K Dick should have been in marketing.


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